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Boutique Bass Builder: Hiro Miura



Boutique Bass Builder - Hiro Miura

Boutique Bass Builder: Hiro Miura

Hiro Miura once dreamt of using his hands to pilot the controls of jets as he flew across the globe at supersonic speeds. Now, his hands are used to fulfill the dreams of musicians. In a small workshop near the Van Nuys airport, he makes guitars and basses that transmit his craftsmanship around the world at the speed of sound.

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The man who designed and built instruments for such musical icons as Carmine Rojas, Chuck Rainey, John Pena, Chris Duarte, and Katsuji Morioka, never saw himself as a world renowned builder. He simply wanted to fly airplanes.

Life has a funny way of pushing you in one direction while making you think you are going in another. The aspirations of youth are often rerouted when the world interjects itself in your reality. Cowboys become accountants. Rock stars become convenience store clerks. And pilots become instrument makers.

Miura had always enjoyed playing guitars as a hobby and never gave the instrument much thought until he lost interest in attending college. He dropped out to become a guitar salesman for Moon Guitars in Japan. He stepped foot on that path at a time when the Yen trumped the U.S. dollar and the Japanese craze for vintage American guitars in the early 1980s was just taking off.

He was sent to America to buy vintage guitars and bring them back for resale Japan. After a few years of hopping back and forth across the Pacific, he decided to make Los Angeles his home in 1986.

While buying, selling, and studying vintage guitars, he befriended custom guitar builder Taku Sakashita.

“I told him about my design ideas for a new guitar head and body,” recalls Miura. “Taku built the first one for me and then showed me how to make it myself.”

Miura and Sakashita were often joined by the legendary bass builder Nicholas Tung. The trio would share ideas and experiment with various designs and building concepts. It was that experience of working with master luthiers that inspired Miura to build and later launch his own brand, Xotic Guitars, in 1996.

Unlike other builders, Miura didn’t design his guitars to showcase his artistic abilities. His passion was, and continues to be, creating an instrument that allows the musician to play without concentrating on the physical act of doing so. In other words, he wanted to create the tools that lent themselves to effortless mastery.

After 18 years with Xotic, Miura decided it was time for a change. He left Xotic and started Miura Guitars in August 2014. He is the sole employee and his personal motto is reflected in his mission statement: “Never complete, keep evolving.”

“I have no plans to bring on any other employees. I’d rather do the work myself,” said Miura. “It’s not hard to have someone make the instrument. But even if we use the same wood and the same parts, theirs will sound different than mine. I want to make sure every instrument that leaves my shop sounds the way I want it to sound.”

Miura currently builds two bass models that he designed with playability and tone as his top priorities: the MB-2 (below) and the MB-1 (shown at top of article).

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“The MB-2 is my simple bass. I don’t like many decorations and I want a simple instrument that the working musician can afford,” said Miura. “Many basses are headstock heavy so it’s hard for the bass player, and more stressful, for longer playing. I don’t want you to think about the instrument. I want you to think about the music.”

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The MB-2 has an ash (or alder) body with a 34-inch scale (22-fret) maple neck and maple or Pau Ferro fingerboard. Miura uses Hip Shot Type-B bridges and Aguilar Super Singles pickups and an Aguilar OBP-3 pre-amp. The control set up features a master volume, pickup blender pot, master tone, with mini pots for active eq (bass, mid, treble). The mini-switch allows for plus/minus 16 dB @ 400Hz or 800 Hz.

Miura considers his MB-1 to be his flagship model. It features an angled head stock, 24 frets and uses either the Hipshot Type-A, Type-B and Badass (5-string only) bridge. Top wood choices are olive, quilted maple, maple burl, walnut, mahogany, as well as other premium woods. Fingerboard options are maple and Madagascar rosewood.

The electronics are upgraded to higher end Aguilar, Delano, Bartolini, or Kent Armstrong for pickups, and East, Glocken, or Michael Pope for preamps.

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Miura’s guitars and basses are currently built to order. “There are not many companies doing it with one person,” said Miura, laughing. “I make the body and the neck. The paint is done outside. But other than that, I touch every part myself.”

“When luthiers work by themselves, one instrument is very expensive and usually not within reach of most working musicians. I want to make top quality instruments that are affordable for people who will play them. That’s why I can only make about eight guitars or basses a month.”

Miura often drives five hours north of his workshop to find the right wood to use in his instruments. “It would be nice to just be able to make 10 necks and 10 bodies and put them together. But I can’t do that. I have to find the right wood that balances that particular instrument’s body with the neck. Wood has very different properties. It can have the same weight and be physically balanced, but still not sound right. I have to choose the right wood to make a good bass sound great.”

For more information about Miura Guitars, visit his website at

Bass Videos

Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan



Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

Bassist Adam Sullivan…

Hailing from Minnesota since 2012, By the Thousands has produced some serious Technical Metal/Deathcore music. Following their recent EP “The Decent”s release, I have the great opportunity to chat with bassist Adam Sullivan.

Join me as we hear about Adam’s musical Journey, his Influences, how he gets his sound, and the band’s plans for the future

Photo, Laura Baker

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Bass CDs

Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents



Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Visit Mark online at

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Gear Reviews

Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp



Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp: A Tribute to 90’s Iconic Sounds

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinion or the content of our review. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

In the realm of bass preamp/DI pedals, capturing the essence of iconic tones from the 90s can often feel like an elusive pursuit. However, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp emerges as a great option for bass players seeking to replicate the signature sounds of that era, particularly the revered tech21 SansAmp. With its robust feature set and compact design, the Tidal Wave offers a faithful homage to classic rock tones and low-gain distortions, all while providing modern conveniences for today’s bassist. Let’s delve into why the Joyo Tidal Wave stands out as a versatile and budget-friendly tool for both stage and studio.


Measuring at 130 * 110 * 50 mm and weighing 442g, the Joyo Tidal Wave strikes a balance between portability and durability, making it ideal for gigging musicians and studio enthusiasts alike. With a power consumption of just 100 mA and a working voltage of DC 9V, the Tidal Wave ensures reliable performance in a variety of settings.


At the heart of the Tidal Wave’s versatility lies its comprehensive control set, allowing bass players to sculpt their tone with precision. Key features include:

– Level: Sets the overall output volume of the pedal.

– Blend: Blends the dry signal with the cab-emulated signal, offering seamless integration of the pedal into any setup.

– Presence: Controls the dynamics of the high upper-mids, crucial for shaping drive tones.

– Drive: Introduces low-gain distortions and classic rock sounds into the clean tone.

– Treble, Middle, and Bass: Provides a 3-band EQ with frequency selectors for bass (40Hz – 80Hz) and mids (500Hz – 1KHz), offering ample control over tonal shaping.

– Middle Shift and Bass Shift: Allows for further fine-tuning of midrange and bass frequencies.

– Ground Lift: Helps eliminate ground loop noise in certain setups.

– DI Attenuation Switch: Adjusts the level of the DI output signal.

– LED Light Switch Control: Allows users to customize the ambient lighting of the pedal.


True to its inspiration, the Joyo Tidal Wave excels in delivering classic rock tones and low-gain distortions reminiscent of the tech21 SansAmp. Whether you’re seeking gritty overdriven sounds or pristine clean tones, the Tidal Wave offers unparalleled flexibility and sonic versatility. The inclusion of a headphone out, XLR DI out with cab simulation, and throughout for the original bass sound make the Tidal Wave a versatile tool for both stage and studio applications. From practicing silently with headphones to crafting quality recordings in an ampless setup, the Tidal Wave delivers on all fronts with clarity, definition, and unmistakable character.


The Tidal Wave boasts an array of advantages that set it apart from its direct competitors:

– Headphone Out: Transforms the pedal into a convenient practice tool.

– Size and Weight: Compact and lightweight design for easy transportation and setup.

– Rugged Construction: Durable build quality ensures longevity and reliability.

– DI and CabSim: Offers professional-grade direct recording capabilities with authentic cab simulation.

– Familiar Tones: Faithfully replicates the classic rock sounds of the tech21 SansAmp.


While the Tidal Wave excels in many aspects, it does have a few drawbacks:

– Plastic Knobs: Knobs may feel less premium compared to pedals with metal controls.

– Cab Simulation Only on XLR Output: Limited cab simulation functionality may require additional routing for certain setups.


In conclusion, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of classic rock tones from the 90s. With its faithful homage to the tech21 SansAmp, comprehensive control set, and modern conveniences like headphone out and XLR DI with cab simulation, the Tidal Wave offers bassists a versatile  tool for sculpting their sound with precision and finesse. Whether you’re seeking to replicate iconic tones from the past or forge new sonic territories, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp is sure to inspire creativity and elevate your playing to new heights.

Available online at

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram



TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @cb_basses @alesvychodilbasses @odiengcustom @ramabass.ok @mauriziouberbasses @mgbassguitars @capursoguitars @thebassplace @adamovicbasses @ishguitars

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Bass CDs

New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album



New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce "Kingdom of Shred" Album

ALBERTO RIGONI’s New Project NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album, Feat. Super Talented Guests Such as Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner + Many Others

Worldwide known Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI (soloist, BAD As, Kim Bingham, Vivaldi Metal Project, etc.) announces the new album “Kingdom of Shred” of his new project NEMESIS CALL. 

Alberto says: 
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, was released on June 4th 2024, I felt the need to compose new music (yes, I really can’t stop!). This time will be quite challenging because I’m willing to release an instrumental shred/prog/rock/metal/melodic album, that will feature many talented top-notch musicians such as drummer Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner, Alexandra Lioness, Aanika Pai (11 years old!), Keiji by Zero (19 years old!), SAKI and many others TBA/TBC). It won’t be easy to manage all such great musicians but I will make it! Are you ready to face a new prog experience? The album will be released in Digipack CD and in high-quality digital format approximately at the beginning of 2025 or maybe for Christmas!.”

As an independent artist, Alberto Rigoni has launched a fundraising campaign to support the project. Support at 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro (, an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

Visit online at | | |

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